In a world where pleasure unlocks even the best-guarded magic, Cian has a long list of magical talents—and an even longer list of sorcerers he slept with to acquire them. He even seduced a dragon. There’s just one arcane power left for him to master: command over the sea. Now Cian has learned where to find Muir the Scarred, the only man known to have mastered that power—and he is determined to wrest it from him by whatever means necessary.
But completing the task isn’t so easy. First, Cian’s boat is wrecked on the shores of Muir’s desolate island. Then he learns an enchantment will keep him there forever. And when he tries to seduce Muir, he finds himself being seduced by the mysterious sorcerer instead. But the source of the power Cian seeks is also trapped on the island, and it will stop at nothing to break free, even if that means forcing pleasure—and magic—from Cian’s unwilling body.
I found this story to be interesting… it caught me off guard with some plot elements I don’t want to reveal yet… (so, be warned, there will be some spoilers later!)
The set up of this story and the world it relates were well done. I enjoyed following Cian to Muir’s island, learning a bit about the magic of this world along the way. And since this is a novella, rather than a novel, the pace pulls the reader along nicely. We quickly see the rather odd relationship between Cian and Muir develop, one we’re never quite sure what to make of until we reach the end.
Muir is a sort of grizzled man. He’s covered from head to toe in circular scars from fighting magic. While the scars were an interesting touch, and meant to be sexy (I think), I only found them sexy sometimes. Parts of him were very scarred — and perhaps that was the author’s intent, to create a character we can care about that isn’t exactly beautiful. And if that was Spencer’s intent, then she succeeded. I liked Muir. I might not like to look at him, though.
The only time the scarring got a bit much for me was during the first sex scene. Muir’s foreskin is so scarred that Cian wonders if the older man had circumcised himself. While that certainly gets across the level of scarification that Spencer wants, I found it created some deep feelings of “ewww…” that were hard to shake off.
And here’s where I get into SPOILERS — so if you don’t want to ruin your experience, STOP HERE!
The circular scars, to me, indicated something like a giant octopus. Muir commands the sea, after all.
Instead, what we find is a giant tentacled monster beneath the island. A monster whose tentacles like to suck and fuck young men. Yup, tentacle erotica. I know there’s an interest in this and a certain niche following, but I have to admit I’m not one of them — and it sort of surprised me by popping up rather unexpectedly halfway through the book.
It does make for some quite interesting plot developments, though. In this world, magic can be stolen (absorbed?) from another person through sex. So this creature trapped by Muir’s magic needs to steal Cian magic to attempt to break free from his prison — and the best way to do that is by sticking a tentacle in Cian’s mouth and ass, and putting a sucking tentacle on Cian’s dick.
And that’s as spoileriffic as I’m going to get — you know there’s a monster and you know there’s tentacle sex. Where it goes from there, well, you’re going to have to read the book to find out.
So, overall, I found the storytelling quite enjoyable and the world and its magic pretty well explained — it was just some of the squicky stuff that turned me off a bit…